The Problem with History

Of course, history is written by the winners. I don’t suspect that there is some kind of an Illuminati school board that sits around and decides on these things, but the story the powerful want told is their story, and that which supports that gets reported, and repeated, and taught, and every thing that deviates from that gets ignored. It’s sort of Darwinian, which information survives and is passed on to the next generation.
It’s nothing new. Our views of 15th and 16th century England are largely formed by the plays of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare was writing for Elizabeth. I imagine Homer’s version of the Trojan War met with the approval of his contemporary Greek ruling class. And so, American history doesn’t tend to emphasize the trail of tears, or any of the various Indian massacres, or the true horrors of slavery and modern day racism, or any of the times government troops fired on striking miners.
It is dangerous, because if we’re looking at a fictional version of the past and, as we’re told we should, learning from the past, so as not to repeat it, then we are heading into the future with totally incorrect directions.The question is, how can we change course?

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